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pontoontodd last won the day on September 5 2019

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About pontoontodd

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    1000+ Super USER!

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Loves Park, IL
  • Referral
    search engine, lifted subarus and other mods
  • Biography
    Mechanical engineer, off road racer, trail ride and pre run with Subarus.
  • Vehicles
    1999 Legacy Outback, 1996 Impreza

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  1. Latest project was reinforcing the rear part of the 99 Outback. Made braces for each side that tied together the (rarely used) spare strut mounts, strut towers, trailing arm bracket, and bottom of cage/jack. We gusseted the strut top mounts to the tube (see below). They don't restrict access to the back seat area much and are removable. Something like this but going back and down to the rear bumper bolts would be a good reinforcement for a car that's getting rusty and/or doesn't have a cage. Could add a spare tire mount to one or both sides too. Welded and painted. At the same time B pulled out the interior in the left rear corner so we could take a closer look at that strut tower/wheel well. The rear portion is worse than the right side but the front portion is fairly intact. Definitely plan on refabbing the rear portion of the wheel well but still thinking about how far I want to go. It appears the floor near the LR wheel well is pushed up some, maybe 1/2", not sure if or how we can reverse that.
  2. This is all we're up to now. Bracket we made that screws to the sides of the radio to mount a tablet and pushbuttons for the brakes. It's a compromise as always, I don't use the radio controls much. You can still get to the HVAC and radio controls as this sticks out a few inches. Didn't mount the tablet high like my 99 since the vents are higher. I also drive it on the street with the airbag fuse in so shouldn't put a tablet in front of that. The rigid tablet mount is much better than the RAM mounts. Those basically work but it moves around too much to use while driving sometimes and is more difficult to install and remove the tablet. The buttons are set up so if you push any combination of them and hit the brake pedal, only those brakes will be applied. We tested on snow recently and the left front and right front definitely just lock up those corners, the rears don't really. Not sure if that is related to the auto trans center diff deal or the rear brakes being smaller or something else.
  3. In my 2002 LL Bean Outback we just unplugged that security module next to the radio. Starts and runs fine, power locks work, alarm never goes off. Maybe with other alarms some jumper wiring is required but not with this one.
  4. In case anyone else out there has this question, my friends did get one of my key fobs to work with the car. More importantly, one of my other friends found the security black box on the right side of the radio when we were doing some other wiring. We unplugged the security box thing and I can now use the power lock switches on the inside of the doors and the alarm never goes off.
  5. pontoontodd

    does lift and no sway bar damaging steering rack ?

    That's too bad. I found when my Outback was lifted and had no swaybars it would still corner well with mud tires. In fact I usually still drove it faster than 99% of the other cars on winding roads. If you're talking about bottoming out the floor of the car on the ground, don't worry about it. If you're talking about bottoming out the suspension, lifting it won't help that (unless you use lift springs instead of spacers). Removing the swaybars will make it even easier for one wheel to bottom out, so you could try putting them back on. If you are still willing to give it a try I would try AGX struts. They have more damping than stock so it should be more stable on winding paved roads and harder to bottom out on rough roads and they're not extremely expensive. Taller tires will give you more clearance and more sidewall to make the car bottom out on the ground and at the suspension less often.
  6. No, we're not welding on Fox shocks. We use a lot of Fox parts but many of the parts are custom machined and fabricated. If you start here you can see how they're put together: https://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/144953-long-travel-outbacks-or-making-subarus-faster-and-more-reliable-offroad/?page=25&tab=comments#comment-1355228 If you're using a-arm suspension just use threaded body coilover shocks - Fox, King, etc. Depending on what you're doing with it I would look into some of the position sensitive single shock options - internal bypass (IBP) or coilpass (bypass tubes above coil springs). Otherwise most offroad racers run two shocks per corner, one is basically just a coil carrier with a little damping and the other has external bypass tubes.
  7. Yes, but he wasn't hitting any sweet jumps or whoops, had to go slower on the rough trails than we did, and he still bent a strut. Of course stock Subarus are fun, they're just more fun when you can hit jumps, go faster, and not have to worry about bending struts. He's put AGX struts on it since then so we're curious to see how those ride and hold up.
  8. Video from our trip to the UP in August: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_GPBHOLdIE
  9. Replaced the trans mount, both the used ones I'd had when I put it in were split like this: That long stud keeps it from moving too far but the less engine and trans movement the better.
  10. Latest structural reinforcement to the 99 Outback was to tie all the trailing arm and subframe bolts together and run a longer subframe bolt through the floor. Welded this plate on the top, overlaps the plate for the trailing arm bolts. Tack welds are holding a crush sleeve on. Painted and reassembled. Paint turned out like crap because it was either too cold and/or the primer wasn't dry enough. Unimportant for this repair. Welded a plate underneath to the front edge of the trailing arm plate I'd welded on earlier and to as much of the body "frame rail" as I could. We cut out and ground flush the tubes we'd welded in in Vegas. I was originally going to weld in other tubing but I think the fabricated strut towers will be good enough. Might make some bolt in triangulation for desert racing. Will be a paint to get in and out of the back seat so I'd leave them out most of the time, just bolt them in for racing. Meanwhile M and B replaced the engine mounts on my 2002 Outback. Both pairs I had when I swapped the engine in were split, these were actually the best. You can see that you could pull them apart by hand if you really tried. B also replaced the front control arm bushings that have been worn out an noisy all year. Still need to replace the trans mount but that should be much easier.
  11. Eventually we might try that but for now we're just using it for manual brake control. One problem with the units we've experimented with is that the pump pumps fluid from the calipers to the master. So in order to use it to pressurize some of the calipers, the brake pedal must be depressed slightly so the fluid can build up pressure and not just pump back into the reservoir. Slammo suggested that a twelve solenoid ABS unit as used in cars with brake based traction control (such as Subaru VDC) should be able to do this without pressing on the brake pedal. As scalman has pointed out, the Subaru VDC system already does this, so if you really want it you can just buy a Subaru with VDC.
  12. We will find out on the rust free cars with long travel how well the bodies hold up. So far, fairly well. I tried different bushings but the stock bushings seem to last for a decent amount of time and have enough flex.
  13. Finished filling in the wheel well. Checked and it had tire clearance at full bump. Tire actually rubs a bit on the plastic around the gas filler at full bump, but that's with the bumpstop removed. Inside the wheelwell fully welded. That took longer than I expected. Painted. Didn't turn out great but as long as it keeps it from rusting for a few years I'll be happy. View from inside the car fully welded.
  14. B and I did a little reverse engineering of the Subaru ABS system last night. Under no circumstances should you modify or alter your ABS system or its function. Do not try this at home or at all. Here is what we found: The unit we disassembled was from a 2000+ car with the ABS control system as one unit with the solenoids. The one we've been experimenting with most successfully is in the lower left of the picture from a 1997 Subaru Legacy Outback. It has a big center wire to power the solenoids and eight separate ground wires. The top row of solenoids definitely closes off the wheel circuits. I assume the bottom row opens them to the pump or dumps them back to the master but we couldn't get the pump to pump anything anywhere. It would make a little turbulence or bubbling at that "passage to pump" in the middle of the diagram but couldn't ever get it to pump. Tried powering one or all of the bottom solenoids, tried powering pairs of top and bottom solenoids, no significant pumping anywhere. We tried bleeding it but maybe it still had air. Does anyone know the specifics of where the brake fluid is pumped to and from? Also, I remember reading about a procedure using the Subaru Select Monitor that would pressurize each individual wheel cylinder but can't find it anymore, if anyone could point me to that I'd appreciate it.
  15. We plan on fixing the other rear strut tower over the winter too. More on that soon. The rear end of that Toyota kicks really bad over those little jumps. I've noticed that with a lot of Dakar cars though, especially the Peugot DKR, and they still beat everyone else. My guess is that it is a compromise for better cornering and/or traction. Jumps don't occur very often naturally so if you have to slow down for them a bit it's probably not as much of a time penalty as having worse traction the rest of the time. It would be a lot of fun to race the Dakar, it will be interesting to see what it looks like in KSA next year.